The Nintendo Power Line will return during NES Classic Mini launch weekend

2 min read

Powerline to the pros

The Nintendo Classic Mini is creating all sorts of nostalgia for me. I love the games that are coming on the system, I love the look of that little thing, and I love all the memories I made with that original Nintendo. I think that’s the main thing I’m enamored with – Nintendo is pulling on all my nostalgia strings in just the right way. And now they’re adding the Power Line to the mix.

Nintendo’s Power Line launched in the late 80s and let players speak to helpful “Game Play Counselors”. The number was a long-distance call, but even worse it was charged at 900 rates, which meant kids could rack up quick a bill at $1.50 per minute. But when you were really stuck in a game, their tips or walkthroughs could be worth it. I remember my mom made a deal with me and my brother – we were allowed to call the hotline if we needed to, and she would pay up to $10 for it, but if we went even a cent over $10, we had to pay the full amount. Totally fair, and definitely a way to make sure that we were well and truly stuck before phoning. I think we only called for a few really obtuse puzzles in games, none of which are on the list of the titles being released on the classic NES Mini.

To celebrate the launch of the mini console, Nintendo is bringing back the Power Line for just two days. However, with the internet a veritable sea of guides and walkthroughs, why call the Power Line? Well, because it’s offering something a bit different.

In this fully automated version, to connect all you have to do is dial (425) 885-7529 to hear recorded tips for several games, plus behind-the-scenes stories from original Nintendo Game Play Counselors.

I really hope that people call and record some of those stories. I’d be so curious about the people who worked there, how the Power Line was run and any other behind the scenes info. Did people call with dumb questions, or were we really just all better games back before the internet and YouTube walkthroughs?

We also used to subscribe to the Nintendo Power magazine back then. I wonder if the Mini will come with a special edition of one of those, too. C’mon Nintendo, let’s go full nostalgia.

Did South Africa ever get all this awesomeness? Did you have a Golden China equivalent, or was this the real wild west for gaming?

Last Updated: May 4, 2017

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